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Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

There’s no reason for her to get involved... Bread Over Troubled Water (A Bread Shop Mystery #8) by Winnie Archer

Rising cozy mystery author Winnie Archer cooks up her latest installment in her delightful and delicious Bread Shop Mystery series.


Published: November 29, 2022

Rising cozy mystery author Winnie Archer cooks up her latest installment in her delightful and delicious Bread Shop Mystery series.

Photographer Ivy Culpepper is soon to make a home with her husband-to-be in the California beach town of Santa Sofia—but the Yeast of Eden bakery remains her second home. It’s not just a place to work, but a community. And now one member of the community has been murdered...

A regular who used Yeast of Eden as a workspace, Josh Prentiss always turned heads with his startlingly good looks and thousand-watt smile. But Ivy can’t help noticing one morning that he seems distracted and off his game. Later, during a visit to the park where she and Miguel plan to hold their engagement party—with plenty of baked goods on the menu—her rescue pug, Agatha, sniffs out Josh lying in a bed of poppies…scone cold dead.

There’s no reason for Ivy to get involved. She’s busy enough holding down the fort as the shop’s owner, Olaya, cares for her recently orphaned niece, not to mention the stress when a new employee is fired and storms out in a rage. Then a band of rabble-rousers starts picketing the bakery, claiming that Olaya’s sourdough roll is what killed Josh—and Ivy hears some salacious gossip about her beloved boss. She doesn’t think there’s a grain of truth to the seedy rumors—but to prove it, she’ll have to start sleuthing . . .

A Ukrainian Connection

When I first created Ivy Culpepper, her mother, Anna, had already passed. I hadn’t delved too far into Anna’s background at that point, but during the writing of this book (#8–Bread Over Troubled Water), I wanted to find a way to bring Ivy’s mom into the wedding festivities between Ivy and Miguel. That meant I had to figure out who Anna was and what her background looked like.

Part of what I love about this series is being able to celebrate bread from many different cultures. Olaya Solis is Mexican, and Yeast of Eden, her artisan bread shop, uses traditional Mexican long-rise baking methods. Through her, I get to dive into those traditions.

It is through the mysteries and the other characters in the series that I have been able to weave in other cultures. In Dough or Die, Olaya begins a series of classes called Bread for Life. The goal is to lift up and empower low income and immigrant women in the community and help them develop hirable skills, as well as self-confidence (this is modeled after a similar program run by a baker in New York). Olaya teaches them to bake, but more than that, they share recipes from their families and cultures. They share recipes for indigenous breads, and they celebrate each other.

When thinking about Anna’s heritage, I wanted, once again, to celebrate other cultures, which meant I had to go back a few generations to determine where Anna’s family came from. Randomly, Ukraine came to mind. I wrote this book long before the current situation there arose with Russia’s invasion. I couldn’t have timed the celebration of Anna’s heritage via traditional Ukrainian bread better. I love that this book celebrates a bread from Ukraine at a time when our thoughts and prayers need to remain with the Ukrainian people.

I hope you enjoy Bread Over Troubled Water, of course, but I also hope you see the culture of a people in trouble through the bread celebrated in this book. Food ties us together, and that is one of the most important elements in this entire series.

Wishing you all a lovely holiday season.


About the author:
Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, as well as the Lola Cruz Mysteries and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher, lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children. Visit Winnie Archer online at

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